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Miscellaneous

DSWD’s Project LAWA provides sustainable water source, food security to Antique residents amid drought

Project LAWA
Villagers from the towns of Sebaste, Barbaza, and Sibalom in Antique province work together to build the small farm reservoirs which will give them a sustainable source of water amid the El Nino phenomenon.

Residents of three municipalities in Antique province will not worry about experiencing water shortage and food insecurity as they now have a sustainable water source for the continuous production of agriculture, farming, and fishery products despite the anticipated effects of the El Niño phenomenon, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian said on Thursday (December 28).

This, after the residents of the municipalities of Sebaste, Barbaza, and Sibalom in Antique constructed small farm reservoirs (SFRs) that will ensure sufficient water supply in the areas.

The DSWD Secretary said the cash-for-work (CFW) and cash-for-training (CFT) components of the agency’s Project LAWA or Local Adaptation to Water Access paved the way for the construction of the SFRs.

“Participants who were engaged in Project LAWA, helped in building these water reservoirs that will benefit their respective communities amid the possible impacts of a dry spell on their livelihood,” Secretary Gatchalian pointed out.

Under Project LAWA, residents in the pilot areas in the province are provided with financial support, through the agency’s CFW and CFT, in exchange for the work they rendered in constructing the alternative water resources.

The DSWD has so far released more than Php11.3 million to provincial residents engaged in CFW/CFT program.

“The Project LAWA aims to assist and protect poor and vulnerable communities from the impacts of the slow onset of the El Niño phenomenon by giving them sustainable water sources and additional income support,” the DSWD chief said.

Secretary Gatchalian said the beneficiaries in the three pilot municipalities in Antique province surpassed the 30 SFRs target, and were able to build 31 alternative water reservoirs in the different barangays.

Project LAWA’s framework focused on the construction of small farm reservoirs strategically placed in selected towns for 15 days and constructed within a 20 by 25-square meter area with a maximum depth of 50 feet.

“These reservoirs are intended to serve as vital water sources for communities during periods of drought or dry spells. Aside from an alternative water source, it can also serve as ponds to breed and raise fish and irrigation for their agricultural products,” Secretary Gatchalian explained.

Officially launched last August 31, Project LAWA is an initiative of the DSWD, through the Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB), that aims to provide a sustainable solution and proactive intervention that will address the challenges faced by poor communities during periods of severe drought, ultimately mitigating the threat of water scarcity.

Aside from Antique, the initial phase of the project’s implementation was also carried out in the municipalities of Aguinaldo, Alfonso, and Hungduan in Ifugao province (Luzon); and in Laak, Monkayo, and Compostela in Davao de Oro province (Mindanao).

The strategic locations were specifically targeted based on the severity of the expected impact of El Niño in these areas.

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